Mohammed Nuru

SF Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru Resigns Amid Corruption Scandal

Mohammed Nuru and Nick Bovis allegedly schemed in 2018 to bribe a San Francisco airport commissioner for prime restaurant space at SFO

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San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru has resigned two week after he was arrested in a public corruption scandal. Mayor London Breed announced Monday she had accepted his resignation.

Nuru, who was known around the city as "Mr. Clean," and restaurateur Nick Bovis were arrested on Jan. 27 by the FBI for allegedly conspiring to line their own pockets at the expense of taxpayers' trust.

“From the moment Director Mohammed Nuru was arrested, he was placed on leave and removed from any and all decision-making, and an Acting Director was appointed. While I understand the desire for him to be fired immediately, it’s important that we follow all the laws required to terminate a public employee, no matter the circumstances. Before this process had been completed, he submitted his resignation," Breed said in a statement.

"We can now move the Department forward under new leadership. Our goal is to continue to support the hard-working employees of this department and to continue its mission of cleaning our streets, performing critical infrastructure work, and taking care of our City. I will continue to support the full independent investigation underway to uncover any improper actions that were taken and recommend reforms to ensure they never happen again.”

FBI officials said Nuru and Bovis schemed in 2018 to bribe a San Francisco airport commissioner for prime restaurant space at San Francisco International Airport. The commissioner did not take the $5,000 bribe.

Nuru, 57, and Bovis, 56, have since appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim for bond hearings. They are each free on $2 million bail and have started paperwork to secure those bonds with personal property.

San Francisco City administrator Naomi Kelly is the unnamed “senior official” who alerted federal agents this week that Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru had disclosed details to her of the FBI’s ongoing corruption probe, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. Investigative reporter Jaxon Van Derbeken reports.

The corruption allegations have upended San Francisco City Hall, with Breed and others professing outrage and ignorance that cozy, illegal back-scratching could happen in their city. The city attorney and controller offices are investigating. Supervisors have called for an outside audit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

A top San Francisco official tasked with keeping the streets clean has been charged with public corruption in schemes that include offering a bribe for space at San Francisco International Airport, providing inside information to a friend seeking permits to build homeless shelters and accepting lavish gifts from a billionaire Chinese developer. Mark Matthews reports.
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